Pesto Lasagna with Cauliflower Bechamel

pesto lasagna cauliflower bechamel zucchini healthy

This pesto lasagna is inspired by the dish I’ve eaten several times at Eataly New York. I’m somewhat averse to using white flour, butter and cream in everyday recipes, so I decided to come up with a healthier version to enjoy at home.

Pesto Lasagna with Cauliflower Bechamel
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
 
Ingredients
For the pesto sauce:
  • 2 cups basil, packed
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ lemon, squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • A handful of almonds, walnuts or pine nuts
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
For the cauliflower bechamel:
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped into chunks and parboiled
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 11/2 cups milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
For the lasagne sheets:
  • 1 large or 2 medium zucchini, cut into thin strips
  • 4-6 whole wheat lasagna sheets
  • ½ cup cheese (I used a pepper cheddar by Kodi Farms)
Instructions
  1. Start by par-boiling the chunks of cauliflower.
  2. In a large saucepan, add the cauliflower, milk, garlic, and salt and pepper. Cook on a medium-low flame until the cauliflower is completely cooked and softened (about 15-20 minutes at least). Be careful to not allow the milk or cauliflower to burn.
  3. Once completely cooked, blitz in the blender until the sauce is smooth. Add up to one cup of water while blending to thin the sauce out if necessary.
  4. Prepare the pesto sauce by combining all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pesto is easy, but also easy to spoil – when working with basil, my best advice to ensure the leaves are completely dry before putting them into the blender. Basil leaves oxidize quickly; I’ve found that this is one way to avoid that occurring.
  5. Finally, slice the zucchini into thin strips and pre-cook the lasagna sheets as per the instructions on the box. For a paleo or gluten free option, skip the lasagna sheets.
  6. Layer the cauliflower béchamel at the bottom of your baking dish, followed by the zucchini strips, another layer of béchamel and pesto sauce. Repeat by alternating with layers of zucchini or lasagna sheets, béchamel, pesto. Top with your choice of cheese.
  7. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes at 180C.

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